K701 straight out of Echo Indigo with no amp?
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

RichardCory

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Does anyone have any experience with a setup like this, or anything similar? I just want to know how well a good sound card like the Echo Indigo or any other good unamped source will be able to drive these headphones, as well as what differences can be perceived between having it amped/unamped. Thanks.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:40 AM Post #2 of 16

mateo05

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I run my 580/600's out of one unamped right now. It's a pretty good source from my limited experience, noticeably better than an M-Audio Revo or Rio Karma to my ears. I think it tends to run brighter than those two other sources, which makes it synergize well with the Senns, or maybe that's just the noticeable part of an overall refinement.

I have a Micro Stack on the way, but I don't have any other experiences with good amps to help you.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:57 AM Post #3 of 16

Naris

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I too have an indigo, and sometimes use it to run a Senn HD 600 through when I'm too lazy to get my PA2V2. It sounds... better than just plugging it into my Rio Karma on its own, it can get a little louder as well. That being said, I enjoy even an inexpensive amp like the PA2V2 better. It just... adds more... depth, would be the only word I could use to describe it. But yeah, if you've got nothing else I don't see why it wouldn't be enjoyable.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:59 AM Post #4 of 16

Sisyphos

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The Indigo does in fact contain a small headphone amp (ssm2135, a dual op-amp). Its gain is high enough to drive my HD650 to quite insane levels (I haven't yet tried the K701 with the Indigo, but AFAIK its demands are similar to the HD650's.)
And the sound is really good. IME its on the same level as the Corda Aria (USB input) or even better (espeially with the HD650, more than with the HD595).
I really like this (trans)portable minimalist but high sound quality solution a lot.
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 5:21 PM Post #6 of 16

bizkid

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sisyphos
The Indigo does in fact contain a small headphone amp (ssm2135, a dual op-amp). Its gain is high enough to drive my HD650 to quite insane levels (I haven't yet tried the K701 with the Indigo, but AFAIK its demands are similar to the HD650's.)
And the sound is really good. IME its on the same level as the Corda Aria (USB input) or even better (espeially with the HD650, more than with the HD595).
I really like this (trans)portable minimalist but high sound quality solution a lot.



Same level as the Corda Aria, are you sure about that? Would save me alot of money
biggrin.gif
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 10:59 PM Post #7 of 16

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nothin
any more thoughts?


K701s sound awesome out of my iPod
The only time I would need to plug it into an amp is when I want to boost the bass or mess with EQ

K701s have design flaw which doesn't allow them to handle a large amount of bass without distorting

Currently, I'm using K701s out of my Creative Audigy ZS notebook card


Should be no problem on the (I'm assuming better)Echo
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 11:01 PM Post #8 of 16

A.Thorsen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS

K701s have design flaw which doesn't allow them to handle a large amount of bass without distorting



That's news to me.

Where/how did you learn this information?

I have a good 50 hours into my 701's, and I've thrown all kinds of music at them at all kinds of volumes.

I have yet to notice any kinds of distortions whatsoever, and I have very sensitive hearing.

Are you sure you're really describing a "design flaw" of the 701's, or more likely imo, perhaps this is the shortcomings of a questionable source?
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 11:16 PM Post #9 of 16

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by A.Thorsen
That's news to me.

Where/how did you learn this information?

I have a good 50 hours into my 701's, and I've thrown all kinds of music at them at all kinds of volumes.

I have yet to notice any kinds of distortions whatsoever, and I have very sensitive hearing.

Are you sure you're really describing a "design flaw" of the 701's, or more likely imo, perhaps this is the shortcomings of a questionable source?



I have tried 3 sources: LaRocco Global Reference DAC, M-Audio Revolution 7.1, Creative AudigyZS

I have tried 3 amps: LaRocco Global Reference, Millet Hybrid, Little Dot Micro

I have tried 2 different K701s

I have tried tweaking with EQ, bass boost
In the end it seems like once you go beyond what the K701s are capable of in terms of bass... the distortion appears
The threshold is really low

One other head-fi'er has reported the same distortion.
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...7&postcount=77
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...7&postcount=82
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...5&postcount=98


EDIT: Oh yeah, I also was able to put a *lot* more bass on the HD650s and even with max bass boost I could not get them to distort

While not concrete, I think it's safe to say it's the K701s at fault
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 11:30 PM Post #10 of 16

A.Thorsen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
I have tried 3 sources: LaRocco Global Reference DAC, M-Audio Revolution 7.1, Creative AudigyZS

I have tried 3 amps: LaRocco Global Reference, Millet Hybrid, Little Dot Micro

I have tried 2 different K701s

I have tried tweaking with EQ, bass boost
In the end it seems like once you go beyond what the K701s are capable of in terms of bass... the distortion appears
The threshold is really low

One other head-fi'er has reported the same distortion.
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...7&postcount=77
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...7&postcount=82
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...5&postcount=98


EDIT: Oh yeah, I also was able to put a *lot* more bass on the HD650s and even with max bass boost I could not get them to distort

While not concrete, I think it's safe to say it's the K701s at fault




Very interesting, thanks.

I shall look into this further... *starts reading*
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 11:31 PM Post #11 of 16

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
In the end it seems like once you go beyond what the K701s are capable of in terms of bass... the distortion appears
The threshold is really low

While not concrete, I think it's safe to say it's the K701s at fault



Maybe the K701 isn't the right headphone for you if you like gobs of bass...but this is more a matter of your own listening preferences rather than any design flaws in the K701.
 
Apr 16, 2006 at 11:32 PM Post #12 of 16

A.Thorsen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jagorev
Maybe the K701 isn't the right headphone for you if you like gobs of bass...but this is more a matter of your own listening preferences rather than any design flaws in the K701.



I guess that's the phrase I kind of tripped on: "Design flaw of the 701's" but in any event, it's an interesting phenomenon that he and a some of those others he linked to are talking about.
 
Apr 17, 2006 at 3:15 AM Post #13 of 16

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jagorev
Maybe the K701 isn't the right headphone for you if you like gobs of bass...but this is more a matter of your own listening preferences rather than any design flaws in the K701.


Which is really too bad because I love everything else about the K701s
For a while, I really thought they were "it"
The do-it-all phone that I've been chasing

I ordered the SA5000s
I'm hoping they'll have everything I love about the K701s while not having the bass problem
 
Apr 17, 2006 at 2:15 PM Post #14 of 16

Sisyphos

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bizkid
Same level as the Corda Aria, are you sure about that? Would save me alot of money
biggrin.gif



Well, I don't say the Indigo's amp section is as good as the Aria's: here we have an unbuffered dual op-amp [SSM2135], there we have several single op-amps [LM6171] and a heavy power supply and a much more sophisticated circuit.

But if you're going to use the Aria's USB input bear in mind that the DAC inside the Aria [PCM2704] is nothing special. It's not bad at all but the Indigo's DAC [AK4393] is simply superior.
Therefore the Indigo sounds better to my ears than the Aria through USB.

If you're willing to pair the Aria with a CDP or a nice DAC you will have a package that will outperform the Indigo, but things are getting much more expensive then.

And one heavy advantage of the Indigo is that it offers really good sound quality in a package that is as portable as your laptop can get. Even when carrying around your computer in a case you can leave it inside the pc card slot. If this is relevant depends on how you're gonna use your headphone rig.
 
May 9, 2008 at 12:07 AM Post #15 of 16

nonno

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Hi, I use my echo Indigo with K701s - compared to other portable solutions its OK. The Indigo itself is extremely flat in its frequency response. As someone else in this thread mentioned I think it would be best to use the Indigos excellent DAC but have a amp for the K701s. I did not notice any bass blurr. best, Nonno
 

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